Our Moon is a truly marvellous creation, and not only because it’s the brightest object from our night sky. The sight is amazing, without a doubt, but our natural satellite plays a significant role in the development of our planet itself. It’s causing the tides, and it’s also moderating the wobble on the axis for our planet, which leads to assuring it a stable climate.
Therefore, there are many reasons to explore the Moon as much as possible. But another discovery reveals yet another surprising theory about our natural satellite: the presence of an active tectonic process. Scientists embraced this possibility after relevant data was gathered by the NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The spacecraft spotted peculiar bare spots where the ubiquitous dust is missing.
4.3 billion years ago
Researchers believe that the seismic activity on the Moon had been occurring 4.3 billion years ago, when our Earth was a giant ball of fire and lava. But there’s also a good chance that the seismic process is currently taking place on the Moon even today.
Peter Schultz, who is co-author of the study and a professor in Brown University’s Department of Earth, declared:
“There’s this assumption that the Moon is long dead, but we keep finding that that’s not the case,”
“From this paper it appears that the Moon may still be creaking and cracking — potentially in the present day — and we can see the evidence on these ridges.”
For the study, the LRO’s Diviner instrument was used, which measures the temperature from the surface of the Moon. Exposed bedrock and blocky surfaces from our natural satellite stay warmer during the lunar night than regolith-covered surfaces. There were used nighttime observations from Diviner, and more than 500 patches of exposed bedrock on narrow ridges were turned up.
It’s true that further investigation is needed, but finding out new things about the Moon is always exciting. The research has been published in the journal Geology.